Interns from University of Alabama Recognized at Florida Main Street Annual Awards Banquet

Interns from the University of Alabama are being acknowledged this weekend for their marketing contributions to Florida’s historic Vilano Beach Main Street.

The 2014 Florida Main Street Awards conference, a three-day event taking place this weekend, honors statewide efforts to advance the goals of the Florida Main Street Program. Hundreds of volunteers gather in Stuart to attend workshops, visit Florida’s main streets, and brainstorm new ways to identify and preserve Florida’s historic retail districts.

Vilano Beach Main Street is an organization which preserves the area’s pedestrian-friendly town center, which has been the site of extensive community development and planning in recent years. The area received several awards and honors at the Florida Main Street Annual Awards Banquet.

According to the St. Augustine Record, local Florida Main Street Supporter Carol Ann Sacha Martin received a merit award for acting consistently as one of the community’s most active organizers and volunteers since she moved to the area from New York City in 1997.

The Main Street organization also granted an Outstanding Image Campaign and Promotional Materials Award to Main Street’s “Visit Florida” marketing development project, which was displayed last year when the Main Street Conference was held in Vilano Beach.

The extensive marketing efforts for the conference in 2013 resulted in record attendance, which shouldn’t be a surprise since researchers have found that 75% of people consider brochures to be useful information resources, and 40% of vacationers who learned about a local attraction or event in a brochure considered changing their travel plans to accommodate a visit.

The well-marketed conference and also lead to the creation of several Vilano-centric promotional tools. Three new brochures and six videos were created for Vilano Beach’s website through partnerships formed at the conference.

Three of the videos were created by interns from the University of Alabama. Vilano Beach has an ongoing partnership with the University of Alabama’s school of hospitality, giving students a chance to gain field work experience.

Awards were based on recommendations from the Florida Main Street Awards Committee, which reviewed the 2014 applications earlier this year.